Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Tom Stevens, the visionary CEO and Co-founder of Tombot.
In this enlightening conversation, we delve into the remarkable journey of Tombot, a company dedicated to revolutionizing emotional support through cutting-edge robotics. Tombot’s groundbreaking creations are tailored for individuals with dementia, autism, and mental health challenges, serving as both FDA medical devices and remote safety and health monitoring platforms.
Tom Stevens’s mission goes beyond innovation; he has propelled Tombot to address critical gaps in healthcare and emotional well-being. In this interview, we gain profound insights into the intersection of robotics and human connection, offered through the lifelike companions his company creates.
Join us as we explore Tom’s experiences, challenges, and aspirations, gaining invaluable perspectives on entrepreneurship, employee happiness, adaptive strategies, and the pursuit of transformative success in the rapidly evolving landscape of 2023 and beyond.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Tom Stevens: I’m Tom Stevens, CEO and Co-founder of Tombot. We make robotic emotional support animals for seniors with dementia, children with autism, and the approximately 1 billion people that suffer from some form of serious mental health adversity.
Our ultra-realistic robotic puppies will be the first to be both FDA medical devices and remote safety and health monitoring platforms.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Tom Stevens: Landing the funding to secure the company for the near future financially. Few institutional investors will even consider investing in hardware companies, let alone cute, furry medical devices.
We are fortunate to have recently attracted enough opportunistic investors that understand our market and the tremendous need.
What advice do you wish you had received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Tom Stevens: I was naive about how hard it would be to raise investor capital for a hardware company. Had I known, I would have approached funding the company more realistically and made greater use of SBIR funding.
We are proceeding with a large SBIR grant application with the National Institute of Aging with a couple of large institutional health organizations as partners.
Here is a two-fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Tom Stevens: For Tombot, the book that influenced me most was a work of fiction I read in the 2nd grade called: “Runaway Robot” by Lester Del Rey.
It not only introduced me to the concept of robots as companions but also made an indelible impression on me about the importance of ethics in technology and AI. The book I have gifted the most is “The Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Tom Stevens: Getting our product to market. Bringing a new robot to market means dealing with great supply chain distances and potential disruption, geopolitics, changing regulatory environments, and fickle sources of capital.
We have to focus on the technical and operational challenges immediately in front of us without losing sight of macro factors that can unexpectedly bite us. And don’t run out of money!
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Tom Stevens: Stress. Being CEO means carrying stress for the whole company, regardless of how strong your team is.
There are few outlets within a company where a CEO can transparently share anxiety and stress without causing alarm among the team. It literally causes sleepless nights and self-doubt.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Tom Stevens: Success in 2023 will mean hitting major development milestones that pull prospective investors off the sidelines and participate in Tombot. Anything less could result in company failure.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Tom Stevens for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Tom Stevens or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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